China has pledged $40 billion to set up a Silk Road Fund to help connect countries across Asia.
The Xinhua news agency reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping made the announcement on November 8 during a meeting in Beijing with leaders from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Tajikistan ahead of a summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation grouping.
Xi said the fund’s goal is to "break the connectivity bottleneck" in Asia and that the money will be invested in infrastructure, natural resources, and industrial and financial cooperation.
Xi said the fund will be open and welcomes investors from Asia and beyond to actively participate in development projects.
Last month, Xi unveiled the $50 billion China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, seen as a challenge to institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.